Neuropsychologist to discuss concussion awareness on 'Conversations'

University Park, Pa. -- The threat of a concussion injury is serious among athletes of all ages across the United States. In order to prevent concussive damage, Neuropsychologist Ruben Echemendia tries to educate athletes about the types of brain injury and how to avoid it on game day. Echemendia says preseason evaluation, stricter game rules and greater concern for young athletes will help prevent long-term brain damage. On the next episode of “Conversations from Penn State,” he will discuss the importance of concussion awareness for both amateur and professional athletes.

The show will air at 9 p.m. Thursday, June 16, and 6 p.m. Sunday, June 26, on WPSU-TV. It also will air at noon on Monday, June 20, on the Big Ten Network. The show also can be viewed at http://conversations.psu.edu online.

“I have to tell myself why I’m doing this and that we’re really trying to prevent these long-term catastrophic injuries that really could have long-term consequences to athletes’ psychological health as well as their cognitive health,” said Echemendia.

Echemendia is the author of “Sports Neuropsychology,” a textbook that provides guidelines on how to make serious medical decisions for athletes experiencing brain injury at every level.

Echemendia obtained his doctoral degree from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He served as director of the Psychological Clinic at Penn State for 15 years before pursuing a full-time independent practice. At Penn State, he founded the clinical neuropsychology laboratory in the Department of Psychology, where he focused his research efforts on the diagnosis and management of cerebral concussion, and was the principal investigator for the grant-supported Penn State Cerebral Concussion Program. He has served as Director of the National Hockey League's Neuropsychological Testing Program and as neuropsychological consultant to many professional, collegiate and high school athletics programs.

“Conversations from Penn State” is a series hosted by veteran interviewer Patty Satalia. The program offers thoughtful, in-depth exchanges with a broad range of remarkable people. In many cases, their trailblazing work has advanced their field and drawn national and worldwide attention. For more than 20 years, Satalia has engaged dynamic individuals from all walks of life and areas of expertise. No matter the guest, Satalia approaches each conversation with the same dedication to research and with a passion for helping people share their stories and insights with the world.

WPSU serves central Pennsylvania with programming, educational services and community outreach. Its public media services produce, acquire and distribute programs that address local interests and reflect the diverse cultural, political, geographic and demographic characteristics of an audience within central Pennsylvania.

Contacts: 

Lane Lohman

Last Updated June 15, 2011